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I am a DPhil candidate in Politics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford on the job market in 2019/20. I am part of the Department of Politics and International Relations and a graduate scholar at the Oxford Q-Step Centre.

Prior to starting the DPhil, I earned a distinction MPhil Politics (Comparative Government) from Nuffield College and a distinction BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Essex.

In my DPhil, I study the political economy of risk and insurance in quasi-experimental settings. More broadly, my interests include comparative politics, quantitative methods and causal inference.

My paper-based dissertation explores the causes and consequences of inequality, specifically the ways in which individuals’ risk profiles influence their insurance demand, support for the welfare state and left-wing parties. For these studies, I use historical administrative data, long-run individual panel data and newly collected and assembled electoral data from the United States and Europe. Check out my data page for more information, codebooks and data download.

A related research agenda explores, from a “top-down” perspective, the effects of institutional settings on inequality and subsequent policy outputs. I also study what heuristics individuals use, in low-information settings, to select candidates into public office.

My research is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Nuffield College.

You can find here my CV and read more about my ongoing research.

I can be contacted at raluca.pahontu[at]nuffield.ox.ac.uk or on Twitter.